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Mr. Amurica



What will you see in Jamie Harmon's epic "Obsessed Life Camera" photo exhibit, opening at Material this week?

"This show is all about people. It's everybody I ever took a photograph of in my entire life," Harmon says. "Well, obviously, it's not everyone. That would be too many photos."

Harmon, who ran the Memphis riverboat photo concession for years and is now best known for his "Amurica" photo booth, laughs at himself. Because in Mr. Amurica's world, there's no such thing as too many photos.

Hamlett Dobbins, Material's owner/programmer, may not have fully understood what he was getting into when he approached Harmon about putting together a show. "He said he'd look through my Facebook page," Harmon remembers. "And then I got this message from him saying, 'You have 30,000 images in your Facebook albums. So I'm going to do my best.'"

Dobbins and Harmon sorted through the portraits, event photographs, live music photographs, crowd shots, and documents of everyday life at home with his family and friends. Eight hundred 6-by-9-inch prints were made.

"We wound up only being able to hang 500 of them because the space wasn't big enough," Harmon says. "We're going to have another 200 to 300 in boxes for people to sift through like I did growing up, when, once a year, we pulled the bag of family photos out of the china cabinet and sat on the floor to look through them."

Among the surprises: Harmon discovered a shot of Lucero's Brian Venable as a 15-year-old checking out a hardcore show at the Antenna club.

"It's kind of cool to have that next to a shot of him playing with Lucero," Harmon says.

Obsessed Life Camera at Material, April 19th-27th. a reception for the exhibition will be held on Friday, April 19th, 5-9 p.m., in conjunction with the Spring Broad Avenue Art Walk.

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